One Room Challenge Week 2 // Removing The Drop Ceiling

I wish I had more pretty to show you this week, but the basement is a construction zone. Thankfully we are on the other side of demolition mountain. In case you missed week 1, I am participating in my forth One Room Challenge. I am tackling my basement, which started as a big, empty box and I am upgrading to a modern, relaxed family space. You can see my plans here. And please follow along in real time on Instagram. Because this is an awesome community event, check out all the other room transformations here.

I quickly discovered that there are some realities of trying to tackle a big DIY project as a new mom. Mainly I am attached to my baby, can’t really find a flow. I feed Monroe, set up, start painting or working and time seems to move ridiculously fast, and before I know it I have to change my clothes and feed the baby again. Normally I would put in several hours, a couple days a week while Ollie is at school, then go hard for a couple hours after bedtime and also on the weekend. But in this current season, I have been waking up early and putting in an hour while everyone is sleeping, possibly squeeze in an hour or two during a day, but way too tired to continue post bedtime. Things are moving along, just very slowly, and since my time is so limited I don’t feel like I’m able to take a day off.

How To Remove A Basement Drop Ceiling

Now that all my excuses are out of the way, he’s what I have tackled so far. I tore down the drop ceiling tiles, the insulation and the drop ceiling frame and have started painting. Since I didn’t find much info on how to remove the drop ceiling tiles and paint, it was a little bit of trial and error. The first few tiles I removed were a little trickier, but sever were removed it was much easier and smoother to remove the tiles without breaking them in to a million little pieces. Speaking of breaking into a million little pieces, I wore a mask because I didn’t know the exact content of my tiles.

Once the actual tiles were out, I moved on to removing the insulation. I should note that if I had more help, I would advise to removing the drop ceiling frame next, but the recessed lighting was being held up by ceiling tiles, so I had leave them in place until my brother could come help me out with the electrical business. If I knew exactly what I was doing I would have removed the tiles, then swap out the lights, then remove the frame, next the insulation, and finally begin painting.

In my situation, I removed the ceiling tiles, then tackled the insulation next. I did a little research on removing fiberglass insulation. There were differing opinions on the dangers, and some recommended spraying exposed fiberglass with hairspray before pulling down. I did not end up doing that, but I did wear a mask, gloves and change my clothes right after working. I carefully pulled down each piece and put it directly into a garbage bag.

How To Remove  A Basement Drop Ceiling

Next my brother helped me replace the old recessed lighting with new can LED can lights. I used the combo of LED and can below.

basement recessed lighting
recessed lighting

My brother also helped me tear down the drop ceiling frame. I have no tips on this, this was a straight up demo, ripping metal down from the ceiling. Then I had to pry the wall pieces off the wall which were attached with finishing nails. Once all the trash was cleared out, I was finally ready to start painting.

So far I have a coat primer on the ceiling. I started using my paint sprayer, which really came in handy for my sunroom makeover, but it wasn’t getting the job done. It’s heavy and clunky and was not giving me the output I wanted. So I grabbed a roller and brush. I plan to use the sprayer on the areas with pipes and wires, but the roller and brush seemed to be more effective and efficient for the moment. I am painting the ceiling and walls with Polar Bear by Behr.

What is still left to do?

  • paint walls

  • second coat on the ceiling

  • paint the fireplace

  • remove the floor covering and clean the carpet

  • create art

  • assemble Ikea furniture

  • paint built in shelving

  • organize toys

  • decorate

One Room Challenge

Modrn At Walmart!

You guys will not believe these pieces are from Walmart! They introduced a new collection called Modrn and they really really stepped up their game with this one. Some of these images rival CB2! I cannot attest to the quality, but dang, I would love to get my hands on these pieces and try them out in person! Scroll down to see my favorite picks from the collection.

Modrn at Walmart
Modrn at Walmart
Modrn at Walmart

Modrn at Walmart


Modern Study Reveal

I have to say, my expectations for this room was about the same level of my budget, low. But I am THRILLED with the outcome! I really wasn’t sure what to do with this front “office” room when we first moved in. I had suggestions to make it my office, but I know what a disaster my office turns into on the regular, so I didn’t want my mess right in the front of the house. My long term goal is to connect this room to the kitchen and make it a dining space, but for now we have made it a modern study/workplace for Kyle and once I saw this room by Mandi Johnson of Making Nice in the Midwest, I knew exactly what I wanted to do.

I had all of the furniture, most of which is vintage, and I also found the statement pendant that hangs in the center of the room on a trip to an antique shop last year when we were homeless, and I knew eventually the space would present itself. Ta da!! It is the centerpiece of the room and you can see it from the front of our house.

Modern Study
Study After

For a make-over that didn’t seem all that involved, it looks like a completely different room! Obviously the biggest thing we did was take down the wall paper, add trim and paint the entire room Dusty Miller by Benjamin Moore. Almost every other room in our house is my go-to white, so choosing the perfect green-grey was a really really tough decision, but I am absolutely in love with this color! It really has just the perfect amount of color I was going for here.

Study Before

Painting the shelving, the trim and the doors all in the same monochromatic hue is a bold modern look. See all of my inspiration in this post.

Modern Study Make-over

I did spend on some accessories. Target’s latest Project 62 collection was exactly the color and vibes I was going for in here. I used lots of books and random accessories I already owned and made several trips to the thrift store for bags and bags and bags of books.

Modern Study Make-over

On the walls I added a gallery wall with black and white family photos. It is one of the few places I have embraced the personal photos in this house and I adore it here. I also added a pair of affordable prints from Juniper Print Shop.

Modern Study Make-over

How beautiful are these flowers from Cass and Jean Flower Co!?


What do you guys think? Would you paint your wood trim?


round table - vintage / desk - Ikea Hack tutorial / chairs - vintage (similar) / pendant - vintage (similar) / large prints - Juniper Print Shop / frame for large art - Amazon / gallery wall frames - Target / storage boxes (painted) - Target / tall skinny vase - Target / tall vase with dots - Target / small vase - Target / acrylic table - CB2 / bar cart - vintage / brass peace sign - Jayson Home / concrete bells - DIY / candle holder set - Target / candles - Target

2018 Gift Guide // Home Goods

As a gal who just bought a new house, if you guessed my Christmas list was 95% home goods, you’d be correct. I’m coveting all kinds of updated pretty things to sprinkle into my assortment.

Home Goods Gift Guide
  1. Marble Chain - this accessory would take any surface to the next level

  2. Wood Candlesticks - love these minimal handmade candlesticks as fresh mantel decor

  3. Handmade napkins - moving toward zero waste will be easier with these sweet hand-printed napkins

  4. Mid-century planter - every plant needs a pretty home

  5. dish rack - starting over in a new house makes me want to have well-designed everything, even the dish rack

  6. Get It Together! - Do you follow Orlando Soria? He is hilarious! I cannot wait to dive into his undoubtedly funny book

  7. desk lamp - because my desk needs an upgrade

  8. fancy slippers - since I’m upping my game everywhere else, how about sequined fuzzy slippers too!?

  9. pottery class - I’ve been dying to take a pottery class, think it would be a great night out with a girl friend or even a solo mom’s night off

Where to Put A TV In a Room With A Fireplace

Okay, this is a pretty specific topic, but it's definitely a interior design conundrum and it's been on my mind. As we've been house shopping, I naturally try to picture our things in each space. Every time I see a home with a fireplace my mind immediately thinks, "where will I put the TV?" I am not really a fan of the hanging the TV above the fireplace thing. I love idea of having a mantel to be styled and restyled with the season or when I buy new things. With a TV there, the styling options are drastically reduced. I also think often when hung above the fireplace, the TV is higher than optimal viewing height leaving the family and guests with kinked necks when trying to watch a program. But sometimes above the TV really is the best, or in some cases, the only option. In our old house, we didn't have a fireplace in our living room, so we put the TV on an Ikea hacked "fauxdenza" (see the DIY tutorial here), I loved that thing. But looking at new homes has me considering all the options. Here are a few of my favorite placement ideas if you are faced with this interior design conundrum.


Sometimes the best option for television placement is above the fireplace. Here are a couple examples where the design is so good, I don't even notice the black box. 

Where should I put my TV?


This would have to be my favorite option. The fireplace remains the focal point, and the placement of the TV looks completely natural and not forced at all. Plus there are plenty of surfaces to style. 


I love the way the designer laid out this living room. The main seating, the sofa is facing the television, but should the fire be on, the focal point can easily turn toward the fireplace. Additionally, the pop of blue in the fireplace mantle draws your eye away from the black box. 


My final option to solve the where to put the tv conundrum is the Samsung Frame TV. While it doesn't solve the problems I stated above about the kinked neck and the styling the mantel, but the Frame TV is super stylish and can be programed to display one of hundreds of images while idle, making the television look like a work of art instead of a black box. 

Where would you or do you hang your TV?

Modern Coffee Maker Round Up

Do you have a cheap-o coffee maker you got has a wedding gift? Queue the raised hand emoji! Ours does the job, but it does not vibe with our style and it takes up so much room on our kitchen counter. We are coffee people and brew our own coffee people, so we use our coffee maker on the daily, but I want something beautiful that looks as pretty as the styled shot below. Superficial I know, chances are I'll wait until ours craps out, but nonetheless, I've been thinking about an upgrade. I rounded up a few of my favorite modern coffee makers on the market. There is something for all the coffee people from french press to espresso. 

Modern Coffee Maker Round Up
Modern Coffee Maker Round Up


Ten Dark Exteriors We Love!

Like most of you, we are still holding on to the all-white-everything stage we’ve been going through for the last few years, but it’s nice to see the pendulum start swinging and new, fresh colors emerge. As it pertains to exteriors, we are loving the dark trend we’ve been seeing all over Instagram and Pinterest. The colors range from midtone greys, to charcoal with blue undertones, to true black and even a deep deep olive green. For a classic look the white trim is a perfect choice, but we also love the way warm wood doors and trim pop of the dark ground.

Here are ten dark exteriors we are swooning over!

Dark Exterior 1.jpg
Dark Exterior
Dark Exterior.jpg
Dark Exterior.jpg
Dark Exterior
Dark Exterior
Dark Exterior.jpg
Dark Exterior.jpg

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

Holiday Home Tour

I wouldn't say the holidays snuck up on me, but I would say that I've been completely bogged down by work, so much so that it's taking some of the shine away from my favorite time of the year. I'm left feeling like I need to squeeze in everything on the few precious hours on the weekends. I honestly don't know what working moms did before online shopping. Can I get an amen for Amazon!? That all said, I found some time to make the house look merry. I feel like it's a little toned it down a little this year but still have bits of festive happiness sprinkled throughout the house. Can you believe that flocked garland was $12!? What was your big holiday decor win this year? 

Holiday home tour
Holiday home tour
Holiday Home Tour
Holiday Home Tour
Holiday Home Tour
Holiday Home Tour
Holiday Home Tour


LIVING ROOM: couch - West Elm  / rug - West Elm (similar) / leather chair: West Elm (similar) / coffee table - CB2 / side table - CB2 / hanging chair: vintage (similar) / pillows - Urban Outfitters, DIY / fauxdenza Ikea hack / planter - Target / print - Etsy/ lamp / light fixtures - Amazon

KITCHEN & DINING ROOM: paint - valspar // light over peninsula - Home Depot // light over sink - World Market // stools - Jayson Home // table - CB2 // chairs - Amazon // light over dining table - West Elm // rug - Etsy // bus photo - Etsy // watercolor - street artist in Italy // cake stand - Anthropologie // glasses - Ikea // letter board - Amazon